Moving!

No, we’re not moving, but the little chicks are – inside the eggs we’re incubating!  Here’s a quick clip showing the movement.  Sorry for the quality, I tried YouTube & FB and they both made the videos look terribly pixelated.  This is the best I could do!

Just watch the right half of the egg.

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Pipping!

Tuesday (5/10) I candled the 24 eggs in the incubator & found 22 appeared to be viable.  Thursday was the last day of turning and since then I’ve been checking the temp and humidity as often as possible to make sure we’re remaining in the correct range.  So far so good.

Early this morning (day 20) I went down to check the incubator before going out to milk the goats & sure enough we have one starting to pip!  I am very excited to see how we do over the next couple of days.  I’ll be sure to post more pictures as we go.

Cochin or Brahma egg pipping on day 20 in the incubator.

Cochin or Brahma cross egg pipping on day 20 in the incubator.

In other news, we sent the two Mini Nubian doelings off to their new home this morning.  I hope they have long, happy & productive lives with their new family.  We also have 3 broody hens setting on another couple dozen eggs out in the shed (one Phoenix hen and 2 black Silkie hens).  AND, we are getting over a gallon of goat milk daily.  I’m planning to make a rhubarb custard pie today with our fresh milk & fresh eggs & rhubarb from the garden.  I’ll let you know how that turns out!

Silkie Hens – Best Incubator EVER.

When my son chose to raise Silkie chickens last year for his 4H poultry project he picked them first because of their looks, second for their famously gentle personality & lastly for their broody nature.

Well, let me tell you, the chicks were more work than your average breed.  Their fluff really holds on to poo.  So each day for the first few weeks in the brooder you must check their feet & bottoms for “pasting.”  We spent a lot of time washing little upset chicks with warm water & gently drying them off.

So why would we choose to do it again?  Let me show you…

We are very proud of our little Silkie chickens.

This hen would not take no for an answer. A sweet chick of her own is her reward!

In late December she tried to hatch a clutch of eggs, but it was just too darned cold. So last month she started again, with just 3 eggs.  Late last week I found one egg had been broken when a big hen tried to stuff herself in behind the little silkie – the chick inside was almost ready to hatch & didn’t make it.  Of the other 2 one was pipping and the other making noise so we waited.

The next morning was very cold and the pipping chick was almost completely hatched, but we brought him in to the incubator to warm up (and that is our little Uno).  The final egg remained with the hen.  By this past Tuesday I thought it might have been a dud and planned to throw it out to give the hen a break, but ended up leaving it until the next day (yesterday) and I am so glad I did!  Because at lunch time the kids came running to say the egg had hatched!

We are very proud of our son’s little hen.  These Silkies are really proving themselves to be tough & dedicated.  They don’t lay an awful lot of their own eggs, but they sure will hatch anything you set them on!  We believe this chick is from our Dark Brahma hen bred by a Red Breasted Phoenix rooster.

Uno – 1st Home Hatched Chick of 2011!

Brown Fox Farm's first home hatched chick for 2011!

Introducing Uno - Brown Fox Farm's first home hatched chick for 2011!

Brown Fox Farm's first home hatched chick for 2011! A Red Breasted Black Phoenix cross.

Uno is a Red Breasted Black Phoenix cross (RBBP Rooster & likely a Buff Orpington hen as the chick has smooth legs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were very happy to see that Charles’ black silkie hen had set on her little clutch of adopted eggs long enough for them to start hatching, but the cold was just about too much for this little one (we found that it was hatching after discovering another chick hadn’t made it and hand been pushed from the nest).  So we brought him into the nice warm incubator and now the little chick is doing great!

Welcome to the world, Uno!